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Missouri trucking company shuts down after USPS cuts back mail-hauling contracts

Rooney Trucking cites ‘prior cuts to service from USPS’ in bankruptcy filing

A USPS contractor hauling a load of mail. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

A Missouri-based trucking company, which contracted with the U.S. Postal Service to haul mail, recently ceased operations and filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Family-owned Rooney Trucking Inc., headquartered in Polo, filed its petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri on Monday.

Attorney Ryan Blay told FreightWaves that “fuel and labor expenses were certainly issues that affected Rooney Trucking Inc.”

“The bigger issue, though, was the decision by the U.S. Postal Service to take away some routes and cancel certain contracts,” Blay said. “The business couldn’t function profitably with a restricted income stream.  This was the biggest factor in deciding to declare bankruptcy for the company.” 

In its filing, the trucking company states it will be unable to fulfill its 14-month contract to haul U.S. mail within a 150-mile radius of Kansas City, Missouri, “due to expected loss of staff as a result of bankruptcy filing and prior cuts to service from USPS.” 

Some smaller mail contractors have struggled to stay afloat since the USPS announced it was revamping its $6.6 billion contract program with private trucking fleets in 2019. The program, known as Dynamic Route Optimization, changed the way private carriers were paid — switching from contract rates to paying trucking companies on a mileage basis. This led to consolidation among mail hauling companies that could service a larger region and squeezed out some of the smaller private contractors in the industry.

According to the Chapter 7 petition, Rooney Trucking filed an appeal with the Postal Service Board of Contract Appeals on March 22. 

In the filing, Rooney Trucking lists its assets of up to $10 million and liabilities of $500,000 to $1 million. The company, which has up to 49 creditors, maintains that no funds will be available for distribution to unsecured creditors after administrative fees are paid.

The IRS is listed as the company’s largest unsecured creditor, owed nearly $200,000. The filing also lists the names of the truck drivers, but doesn’t include the possible wage amounts they are owed. 

The company, owned by Patrick and Dixie Rooney of Polo, was founded in 1955. 

According to Rooney Trucking’s financials, its gross revenues from Jan. 1 until its bankruptcy filing date are $1 million. Its petition states the company made nearly $5.2 million in 2021 and about $5.7 million in 2020.

The 67-year-old trucking company had 37 drivers and 66 power units, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration SAFER website.

Its trucks had been inspected 26 times and four had been placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a 15.4% out-of-service rate, which is below the industry’s national average of around 21%, according to FMCSA data. 

Rooney’s drivers were inspected 26 times and none were placed out of service. The national average for drivers is about 5.9%. Rooney’s trucks were involved in three injury crashes and five towaways over the same 24-month period.

A meeting of creditors is scheduled for June 10.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 16 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected].